Hamcats, I want to start by giving Stuft a little credit for something that I don’t really get to highlight in my recaps. She actually does (IMHO) a really nice job both describing and portraying the Wonder Twins as unique and engaging individuals, instead of only “twins.” One of the things that she has made apparent over the past year, backed up by the videos she posts, is that one brother tends to be more of a ham for the camera than the other. In an age where so many mommybloggers (HLB and otherwise) are invested in remaking their kids into something blogworthy, Stuft is really making an important, the-personal-is-political point in capturing such fundamental differences between her sons.
At least, I have to assume she’s trying to make a point. Why else would she illustrate her Thanksgiving message with a photo of one brother smiling and proudly displaying an art project, with the other brother grimacing beside him?
Ha ha ha.
…And then later reveal there were (at least) two additional photo attempts of the same moment that flattered *both* brothers?
Thanksgiving offers an excellent opportunity for various bloggers to prove how not disordered they are by choosing from a variety of surprisingly HLB-friendly foods: poultry breast, sweet potatoes, squash/pumpkin pie. Stuft added an extra spinning class onto her scheduled eight mile run, so she was pumped for a show of Turkey Day gluttony!
Unsweetened soy green tea latte with two shots of espresso
Stuft explains that she only gets expensive drinks when she has earned one through free rewards. The rest of the world explains that the way to earn free drinks at Starbucks is to buy other expensive drinks.
Because excessive Instagramming has been a point of marital contention for the Stufts in the past, I was originally pleased to see NO photos posted from Thanksgiving dinner with extended family. As we will later see, however, Grandma Stuft has a little extra leverage over her daughter at the moment, which is a more likely explanation than actual reflection and maturity. Oh well. At least she is using her powers for good.
Stuft indulges in Black Friday decadence with a new delivery of egg whites. By the gallon. With a pump.
As usual, she pretends this is adequate fuel for a 10.6 mile tr–
As I was saying, a 10.6 mile trail r–
Stuft doesn’t even bother to mention how eleven miles of trail running fits into her precious training plan (fun fact: it doesn’t), but honestly, it’s hard to hate on her for getting away from the treadmill and doing something with a friend, even if it’s running related.
Meanwhile, she and Roid Rooster have a laundry list of other Black Friday deals/shills (you, yes YOU, can get $156 worth of egg whites for the low, low price of $118! Never mind that your family raises chickens and so has a steady supply of eggs for free!), and a Very Special Announcement:
Only 1 mile a day for the next 36 days.
Yes! I’m super excited for Stuft. It’s actually a really good idea for runners and other endurance athletes to take about a full month off each year–the lack of training is more than made up, in the long run, by the benefits to the heart and other muscles of a full month of recovery. A mile a day is nice to stay loose and blow off some steam, and–
I’ll get the family in on this.
I’m trying to convince the whole family to make the trip with my to the Phoenix Marathon at the end of February. There is a free kids 1K and a 10K, so hopefully we can all work things out.
Do you hear that, Stuft Daddy? Hopefully “we” can all “work things out.”
And also, fuck the fangirls who are encouraging Stuft to run with her five-year-old sons because “it changes how they think about running.” GOMI, fangirls.
Last Saturday, Stuft taught boot camp class and immediately followed it with an eleven mile run. According to her training plan, she was supposed to run 44 miles over the week. How did you do with that, Stuft?
I think my totally mileage was somewhere between 45-50 miles. I’m not even sure.
Well…*I* am sure, because unlike Stuft I actually read her blog. In fact she ran 52 miles and added at least two extra aerobics classes on to her schedule. 99.9999999999% of the world looks at that statistic and says, “Holy shiitake.” Stuft looks at that statistic and says:
I have been eating way too many not so healthy desserts, snacks, dinners.
Well gosh. Whatever could Stuft be eating that is so unhealthy?
Friday night date night with the biggest chicken burrito ever
All right, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese…I could see the “biggest chicken burrito” ever having possibilities!
Well…okay…if not that, then how about
Yes! Nachos. Deep-fried tortilla chips, oozy-goozy Chernobyl cheese, fluffy refried beans, thick and slurpy sour cream–
The Mountain and the Viper Have Jaundice?
Stuft also cooked a weekend meal for her family:
They were really impressed with my pancakes though and said they were the best they’ve ever had. Want to know my secret?
Yes! Pancakes are the best. Share your secret!
I followed the directions on the box for a change.
Stuft finishes up her weekend with what is clearly supposed to be vagueblogging about “schedule changes” and “being somewhere at a certain time.” Alas, anyone with a passing grade in ADLT 101 can tell from her hints that she’s about to start a real job, like the kind of real job that doesn’t involve burning calories to dance music. I’m hopeful, for the sake of Stuft and her family, that some of the ramped-up EDness of the past two weeks has been stress over the changing situation and that things will calm down a little as she settles in to her new job and schedule.
One good thing is that Grandma Stuft is able, willing, and even happy to provide babysitting services. Awesome. I hope the Boy Destructors are having grand adventures away from gym day care.
Stuft’s first full week at work brings a slightly erratic blogging schedule, which is expected, but surprisingly regular Instagramming (and not of work! Stuft Mama 10, Clare Brady -100,000), which wasn’t. So Stuft sums up her Monday and Tuesday running together:
My last two days I’ve done a pretty darn good job of being in the 5 am workout club. I had a 4:45 am wake up Monday and 4:30 am wake up today.
As Stuft heads into her second week of being opaque about the overall mileage and shape of her training plan, I thought it would be useful to assess what she’s doing “on the plan” in comparison to blundering on her own. Pretty much every serious generic training plan alternates hard runs and short, easy (recovery) runs or cross-training leading up to a long, slow run on the weekends. Generally 18 miles is a physiological barrier that you should only cross in very limited conditions (for example, during a marathon). A full day of rest is crucial for consolidating cardio and strength gains of the week and warding off injury.
Pre-plan Stuft would normally do haphazard weekday runs of 5-11 miles topped off with a peanut-free nutball long run north of 20 miles. These first two weeks on her plan have her running 7-8 miles per weekday and a limited long run of 10-12 miles. I admit that I don’t consider eight miles at marathon pace+30 seconds to be a “recovery run,” but maybe that’s because I don’t have a doctor background.
Still, I’m proud of Stuft for even *mostly* sticking to the schedule. I imagine giving up the precious calorie burn of that long run is tough. But it’ll be worth it in the end! After all, her coach has put together a custom plan alternating speedwork (hard) and aerobic (slower) runs on specific days for maximum effect!
I switched up the days with my training plan and decided to do the harder/faster workout on Monday after a rest day rather than Tuesday.
Ahhhyiyi #*($^@OI# FDSlkj es;husEB. Stuft. You have a pattern. A history. An every goddamn time of crashing at mile 20. If you want to get better YOU NEED TO PRACTICE RUNNING HARD ON TIRED LEGS.
KERF, stay at home mom with nothing to do but wait until her son is finally ready for another nap, wins what she thinks are Relatability Points(TM) but are actually a failing grade in adulting with her confession:
“I try to get my salad on the table as fast as possible. This ritual has almost become a game to me to see how fast I can assemble lunch while dirtying the least number of dishes.”
As a newly-working mother, it’s much more understandable that Stuft would seek a similarly effic–
Wednesday, Stuft broke out a new pair of $pon$ored shoes for…another 8 mile run at marathon pace+30 seconds.
She also let slip, inadvertently, that her new job is actually her old job–PE teacher. I am not sure how I feel about her as a health/fitness mentor to children. The visceral reaction says BEAVIS MARY AND JOSEPH FUCK NO. On the other hand, very few people are as motivated to prevent others from falling into EDs as those currently suffering or recently suffered. After all, having anorexia makes you skinny and special (fuck bulimia. Bulimia makes you fat). Other people shouldn’t have that.
^^The most unrealistic part of Mean Girls
is when the Girls Who Don’t Eat Anything
sit together in the cafeteria. And smile.
Stuft does say that she is thrilled to be back teaching PE again and is having a blast, which honestly doesn’t surprise me. I think she gets a genuine charge out of being a leader and an inspiration–a teacher. But adjusting to the schedule is tough! Fortunately, she’s discovered two super-secret tricks to help get her through the tough moments:
Setting out workout gear for early morning workouts is genius and saves so much time in the morning.
Congratulations, Stuft. At only age 37 you have already learned to sleep in pajamas instead of sweaty workout clothes that you’re re-wearing to save on laundry. Here’s your merit badge in Sustainable Relationships.
Coke Zero is everything I thought it would be the other afternoon after not having any sort of diet soda for over a year and a half. Yeah, that’s right, I have nothing to hide friends. It was awesome.
Another reason to be hopeful about Stuft’s new job: it has sharply reduced the number of aerobics classes she can teach per week. While I can’t help but wish she found employment that had nothing to do with fitness or running, at least it gives her a solid block of day to get out of her own house and head and think about things besides burning calories–
You know, an activity tracker/step counter like the FitBit can be a really valuable tool for someone who wants or needs to lose weight for health reasons and has never really worked out regularly. It can also be useful for people who have seated/office jobs and are conscious of the statistics about how prolonged sitting can negate the benefits of concentrated daily workouts.
It has no goddamn place on the wrist of someone with a history of a competitive eating disorder.
And she got it for free from the company. To promote their product. You know, I’m not a fan of when companies send Stuft and other disordered bloggers things like hair vitamins or special pillowcases to review. Enabling people to profit off their eating disorders not only glamorizes EDs to their readers, it makes it even harder for the promoters to want to recover.
But when the specific product itself enables a disorder?
This week, Stuft uses her calorie scorekeeper as an excuse to do laps around the mall with the Wonder Brothers while waiting for Santa to show up.
Despite giving the product ONE HUNDRED STARS out of ten and EIGHT THUMBS UP and an A++++ (like every product every blogger shills), Stuft continues to be frustrated with its accuracy on the treadmill. Her Friday workout is 10 miles, with 5 miles of faster running in the middle (basically a tempo run). In re the run itself, Stuft observes:
It was weird holding a faster pace (7 min/mile) for longer than I’ve been used to, but then again, it wasn’t that bad.
Sustained running at faster paces, instead of just mile or shorter repeats, is terrific for increasing marathon speed, so I’m happy for Stuft! But then she adds:
I really wish that my Fitbit charge would give me full credit though for my miles.
Annnnd now I understand why she says the FitBit doesn’t count treadmill miles.
Activity trackers and newer GPS watches don’t actually count *steps*–they use an internal accelerometer to measure arm swinging. As a result, rocking out on guitar or drums could count as “steps.” On the other hand, actual steps won’t count if your arms are stationary, such as if you are pushing a stroller. Or, you know, holding onto the treadmill arms.
Tell us again how that pace wasn’t so hard, Stuft.
Saturday brings an important development chez Stuft:
We’d like to introduce you to Mowgli Bowgli and Rocky Rocket.
I know this has been in the works for a couple of months, so I’m not going to knock the decision to bring two new kitties into the household right when both adults are suddenly working full-time or near full-time again. Honestly, Andrew is the zookeeper, but the entire family is obviously mad for animals. After losing a cat, a dog, and a parrot over the summer, it’s no accident that the Demolition Brothers were asking for stuffed animals for Christmas. I’m happy for them.
I also need to make a retraction. I’ve snarked on her in the past for the juxtaposition of pushing that Juicing with Jesus devotional but only worshipping at the Church of the Sunday Long Run. It turns out the family does church on Saturday night. So I retract that snark and apologize to the Stufts.
With Sunday as a bona fide rest day from running (Go Coach Jason, and more importantly, GO STUFT!) as well as a day off from work, Stuft finally has time to sit down and enjoy a nice relaxing meal with her family!
That…ahem…”egg white salad” prompts Stuft to muse on the upcoming holidays:
I’m seriously thinking of ditching my normal holiday cookie baking and just giving some of this hot sauce as gifts instead.
Because nothing says “Welcome to the world, baby Jewish Messiah” like bacon sauce.
In a week of shills, Stuft’s biggest one is for Pro Compression tights. This is actually one of her more well-written reviews/shills (and it’s definitely her writing–one thing I will say for her in comparison with other fitness bloggers/IGers, she does use quote boxes where applicable). Any old blogger or Running Warehouse description can explain what the company thinks the benefits of compression tights are. It takes Stuft to point out:
Nicely stitched crotch. That’s always important, right?
Stuft hasn’t been able to test out the tights while running, of course, because she lives in Southern California. Nice move, ProCompression. On the other hand, she assures us they are wonderfully comfortable for 12 hours of decorating for Christmas.
And then, after a few pictures of wonderful, lived-in, definitely not bloggertwee Christmas decorations, Stuft has to go and break my heart.
I had to explain to a student that my hands weren’t dirty, they were just purple because they were freezing.
“I used to shiver like that.”
I like the cold weather but my body doesn’t.
“I used to sweat.”
Because I have low circulation
“Uh huh I used to be a junkie.”
I said this on Stuft’s GOMI thread and I will say it again here. Everyone has their own ED low point. The day I discovered my hands were so cold that pushing down the guitar strings just hurt too fucking much to play, I cried and cried. I don’t remember if my fingers turned red or purple or white. I just remember I couldn’t touch anything without pain.
Goddammit, why would you post this? Is this a cry for help? Stuft. Please. Get help. Your hands are cold because your heart can’t pump blood to them; it’s straining to pump enough blood just to power your vital organs while barely having the energy to do that. Your mom is already taking care of your kids while you work and could probably step up if you needed inpatient or intensive outpatient. I GIVE YOU PERMISSION. YOU ARE “SICK ENOUGH.”
On Monday, Stuft ran 11.11 miles, taught 13,300 steps’ worth of PE, and went back to the gym for multiple aerobics classes in the evening.
Chances that Stuft’s training plan was actually 11 miles: 0